For every day I step beyond parenting babies, I’m thrust closer to the slew of endless childhood queries on how life works. While gearing up, I’m recalling not so much my own early questions, but my confidence in many self-guided answers. As a kid, I could ponder, endlessly. Daily oddities were explained with the utmost logic, supported by undeniable imagery. But the proof was all in my head, trapped by words that never sounded quite right. When trying to convey my rationale, it never came out as conclusive as I knew it to be. So you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you, with complete certainty…
…the Tooth Fairy was human-sized. Picture a sweaty Jackie Gleason, dressed as a molar with droopy wings. That’s what was bumbling around my room, swapping chompers for change. I only lost 4 teeth. The rest had to be extracted, under sedation.
…the school ceiling tiles bore heavy coffee stains. I’d seen how coffee left rings, but it was a challenge to determine how they wound up overhead. Obviously, a previous class must have thrown a surprise party for the teacher. Startled, maybe she threw her hands up, along with her full mug! Oh, the hilarity! Our leaky-roofed school appeared to have had hundreds of such parties. Wish I had been invited.
…the state of Aunt Jane’s ceiling tiles was the result of similar arm-throwing surprise parties, apparantly involving glitter confetti. Guess the fun stuff happens after the kids are in bed.
…3-pronged forks were called threeks.
…Cadbury Cream Eggs were, indeed, chocolate covered egg yolks. It was pictured in the commercial and commercials don’t lie.
…my pediatrician had an assigned, yet absentee, nurse. We can blame this visual on an array of 70’s television programs. I was concerned when visiting Dr. Andringa. When you’re 5, and you’ve seen glimpses of General Hospital, and you hear what you think is “We’re going to see Doctor AND Dringa,” but Dringa never shows up…
…my pediatrician had an accent. I asked him about it (to my mother’s dismay.) Speech impediment.
…Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” was a metaphor for orange juice. I was quite proud, my maturity allowing me to pick up on all the subtle word play.
…and I could magically un-see whomever/whatever was standing before me. They’ll think I’m paying attention, but I’m not! Until the day my dad said, “And quit crossing your eyes when I’m talking to you.” Wuh-wuhhh. Forcefields: deactivated.